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An Award for the Wastewater Operator of the Year

by admin default ~ October 28th, 2011

Talkeetna Water and Wastewater operator Mike Kilgo has received an award for his efforts to repair and maintain Talkeetna’s sewer system.

The Alaska Rural Water Association named Kilgo the Wastewater Operator of the year. Having been on the job just more than a year, Kilgo has been a one-man-band working for the water and sewer utility. In that time he has overseen the implementation of an Arsenic treatment system, and worked to remove blockages and obstructions in the wastewater system in town.

Being aware of water as a valuable resource is a community issue, he says:

[ Clip: Kilgo_1
:42 seconds
Outcue: “… more expensive than oil”]

Kilgo’s efforts on the wastewater system include upgrading and modernizing the sewer utility to simplify and speed up maintenance.

Kilgo says a big contributor to sewer problems in town is the high amount of grease that coats sewage lines and covers the six lift pumps. The sources of the grease are from both business and residential uses that may not have adequate grease traps installed in their sewer lines.

Last year, Kilgo had some help clearing the grease from the system when two Alaska Rural Water maintenance workers pitched in so Kilgo could go underground to clear the solids. This year, he says he’s working on making the operation a one-person task that can be done from above ground.

[ Kilgo_2
:37 seconds
Outcue … “ clean out in chunks and stuff”]

Kilgo says he plans to make telescoping poles with baskets on the ends that can be used to scoop out the solids. Another pole will have a scraper on it, so he can scrape the sides of the pipes and around the pumps. Once the bulk of the solids are cleared, the pumps and pipes will get a dose of degreaser, which should flush the system clean … at least for now.

The help and cooperation of the community make it possible to do his job, and he says he wants to raise community awareness of water as a valuable resource:

[Clip: Kilgo 3
outcue … “my job”]

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